Surgical Information - Procedure

Wrist Arthroscopy

What is wrist arthroscopy?

Wrist arthroscopy is a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure that enables surgeons to evaluate and treat injuries affecting the ligaments, cartilage and bones of the wrist. In this procedure, the surgeon makes several small incisions around the wrist joint and inserts a miniature camera (called an arthroscope) to see inside. Tiny instruments are used to remove loose or damaged cartilage or repair ligament tears. The technique allows a full view of the wrist without having to make a larger incision that cuts through more tissue and muscles. Patients experience less pain and blood loss, fewer complications, and a faster recovery.

Anatomy

The wrist is a complex collection of joints and bones that allows us to use our hands in many ways. The small bones of the wrist (the carpal bones) connect the bones of the forearm (the radius and ulna) to the bones of the hand. Strong ligaments connect thecarpal bones to each other and to the radius and ulna.

When is surgery recommended?

Wrist arthroscopy is commonly used to:

  • Diagnose wrist pain or treat pain that fails to respond to non-surgical therapies
  • Assess wrist sprains and reconnect damaged ligaments
  • Assess and repair triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) tears
  • Treat wrist fractures by removing bone fragments, aligning broken bones and stabilizing them with pins, wires or screws

What is the recovery time?

Recovery time varies based on the type of injury you have and its severity. Mild to moderate wrist sprains may take several weeks to heal, while wrist fractures may take several months or longer to resolve. Arthroscopic surgery offers numerous benefits to patients, including the potential for a faster recovery and return to everyday activities.

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